My very own welcoming committee and snorkeling in my clothes
Gili Trawangan Travel Blog› entry 88 of 98 › view all entries
'Goood morning and welcome to the Gili Islands,' a friendly Australian guy greeted me just seconds after I'd set my pack down in the guesthouse and started my walk towards the ATM, which was said to be a good fifteen minutes walk down the street overrun by colorful horse-drawn tuk-tuk type 'vehicles.' I'd just parted ways with Jon, the guy I'd been traveling with since arriving in Singapore nearly a week earlier, with a promise to text each other later where we were staying and which dive shop would be good to do a few dives together with.
However, before I knew it, the Australian guy and his friend were chatting me up as they followed me to the island's two ATM's, which ended up having absolutely not a cent left in them. Steve, the guy who had first said hi, was quick to offer to lend me a hundred AUS dollars, as long as I went snorkeling with them.
Since I didn't want to keep the guys or the Australian girls they'd corralled to also fill a snorkelling boat waiting, I settled on locking my bag with my computer and cameras in it in their room before setting off to go...in my clothes. Hey, there's no rulebook that says you have to be in a bikini to don a mask and fins! The snorkeling ended up being absolutely fabulous, with beautiful corals and an amazing variety of fish, and even a current at the last site we hopped off the boat. My favorite part was playing with the several friendly turtles we came across, all taking turns having Peter take underwater pictures of each of us with him.
I must admit that I was a bit jealous of the fact that he had an underwater housing for his SLR, which didn't go away much even when he let me download all the photos onto my computer later that night. After a nice lunch on the beach, I headed off to find my room and change the AUS dollars Steve had lent me. Besides generous, the guy's hilarious, and kept taking on different roles throughout the day, from Tour Guide Steve to Snapshot Steve to Captain Steve, and several others in between. After taking a shower and changing, I met up with the three guys again at their little bungalow, where I was for a mere thirty seconds before they offered to make me a drink. A few drinks and sandwiches later and we were ready to head out for the night, even though it's a Thursday and I've been told that the party nights on the island are Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, which is a bit random, but whatever. We all had a great time, ending up on the beach listening to a live band play. With a promise to stop by their place the next morning to repay the money before they left of their fastboat to Lombok, I headed off for some much needed sleep.